• Life on the Veg

Introducing our Vegan of the week.....Nonny!🌎💚🌱

Name: Nonny

Location: St. Albans, UK

Plant-Based for: 5 Years (On & Off)

Occupation: Office Manager at The Sick Children's Trust

Instagram: @nonnys_nibbles

What made you become Vegan/Plant-Based?

My mother has been vegetarian for 40 years and counting, so growing up our diet consisted of mainly pulses, fresh fruits and loads of vegetables. Over the years, I would dip in and out of being vegetarian, but a year ago my son decided to become pescatarian (for health reasons), so we cut meat completely out of our diet. Somewhere along the line, we cut fish out too without even realising it! I am lactose intolerant, so I do not consume dairy products. So, it has been easier to gravitate veganism.

What benefits do you see/feel since becoming Vegan?

During this quarantine, I must say the major benefit/highlight has been the friendships I have forged online within the vegan community! I have also become very adventurous with my meals (my son is absolutely loving this and benefiting from my cooking as he is the designated chief taster) 😊.

On a more serious note, I feel lighter and my skin is glowing a bit more than it used to. I find when I go shopping, I am also more cautious in the things I buy as there are so many unhealthy ingredients in various products. I know I am a bit over the top, but I am one of those “extra” individuals who have an app on my phone which checks how healthy any food product I buy is!!! It is my current obsession!!

Are there plenty of Vegan food options where you live?

Yes, there definitely are! 7 years ago, finding vegan/vegetarian options was close to impossible, but I think as more people are gravitating to healthier lifestyles, more restaurants, shops, supermarkets now have so many vegan/vegetarian options. My diet is also evolving, I find that I am eating more fruits and vegetables instead of always having to include vegetarian meat substitutes in every meal – but it is a process. I also have a small vegetable patch in my tiny garden, and I am looking forward to the “fruits of my labour” (pun intended) 😊

Are any of your friends or family Vegan?

Most of my family is. My mother is a health fanatic – so my sisters and I have benefited from her recipes and knowledge. I remember when I was 8 years old she would make gluten(now it’s called seitan) stroganoff in a delicious mushroom sauce – so we never really thought we were missing out on meat, as her food was absolutely divine!

Is there anything you do not like about being Vegan?

Hmmmmmmm……...nothing comes to mind. I know a lot of people say being vegetarian is expensive, but I completely disagree. Think of it like this, a packet of lentils is £2 the most (depending on the brand you use) and you can make multiple meals from it. If you prefer tinned beans, that £0.60p – so much cheaper than meat. I genuinely cannot think of anything I do not like!!!

What is your favourite Vegan meal/food?

Curried Cannelloni beans and vegetable stir rice. Pumpkin leaves in a peanut butter sauce and chakalaka (baked beans with grated carrots, onions, peppers, chilli etc)

Is there any Vegan food you dislike?

I absolutely looooooooove food…………...I eat everything!

Have you got any top tips for anyone who may be starting a plant-based/vegan lifestyle?

Take one day at a time and set goals, objectives, and meal prep!! I found that it was easier for me to completely transition if I planned my meals in advance and stuck to my golden rule: DO NOT COOK WHEN YOU ARE HUNGRY! (When you cook hungry, you rush the process and often start picking on bits of food). I also keep a lot of healthy snacks in the house; nuts (for when I have savoury cravings) and berries (for my sweet cravings). So, depending on the craving, I am well prepared. I also make sure every morning I fill our 5liter jug with water, lemon, and mint leaves; my son and I have a rule that it needs to be finished by the end of each day!!! This has helped me as sometimes we mistake cravings and it is our body saying I NEED WATER!

I think for anyone going through a lifestyle change, do your research, join a vegan community for support and just enjoy the process. We are all continuously learning healthier ways to live.

Your final thoughts?

I have always worked in the charity sector and I am privileged to currently work for a wonderful charity called The Sick Children’s Trust. When a child suddenly becomes ill, there is no time to plan. The Sick Children’s Trust is the charity that gives families one less thing to worry about by giving them a place to stay, and someone to talk to, free of charge just minutes from their child’s bedside.

We have a ‘Homes from Home’ located next to every major children’s hospital and support around 3,500 families from around the UK each year with warm and comfortable accommodation and a friendly ear to listen. Please support this wonderful charity by donating, supporting, volunteering and helping out in so many ways. Please visit their website to find out how.

Thank you Nonny! For more veginspiration and some INCREDIBLE and mouthwatering pics from our gorgeous friend, please give this fabulous lady a follow on the Gram @nonnys_nibbles🌱

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